Monday, September 28, 2015

Book Spotlight: Illusion of an Ending by Danielle Soucy Mills



Title: Illusion of an Ending
Author: Danielle Soucy Mills
Publisher: Aerial Awareness Media
Pages: 200
Genre: Visionary & Metaphysical Fiction

Three peoples’ life stories intertwine with a synchronistic twist.

Jimmy Pollaski, a young man at the peak of his potential, dies suddenly in a motorcycle accident. As his spirit hovers above his lifeless body, he calls out to his mother, Patricia, only to find that his words are inaudible. He then promises to find some way to transmit his message to the world of the living.

It is no coincidence that Lorrena Shaw can see him, along with other spirits—a gift that Lorrena’s mother shuns. After her mother suddenly announces that they will abandon their home in Connecticut to care for Lorrena’s grandmother—a grandmother she has never known—Lorrena inevitably finds herself in the same small Massachusetts city where Patricia resides.

As their paths unite, Lorrena discovers the unbearable grief that haunts Patricia’s every move. Now, not only must she convince Patricia that her son’s soul has survived the fatal crash, she must also travel beyond space and time to access the Akashic Records, the library of all of Human Existence, and write their stories as one—a story that ultimately shatters the boundaries between life and death.

If you liked The Alchemist, you’ll love Illusion of an Ending.

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Book Excerpt:

Prologue

Jimmy Pollaski

“Unable are the Loved to die
 For Love is Immortality,”
  Emily Dickinson

            Every day of my life I died a new death.
            As the years turned me from child to teenager to adult, I remember wondering what it would feel like to die. How would I know when it happened?
Now, as I ascend over my body lying lifeless in the hospital bed, I see everything at once, know everything at the same time. My mother stands over me, her head low. She’s waiting for a sign to assure her that I’ll be okay. My father sits behind her. His mind is racing, face blank. He never knows the right way to calm her down. Outside, the San Diego sun warms the day to a pleasant seventy-four degrees.
            I feel nothing but a rush of energy as the light around me grows brighter. Life isn’t flashing before my eyes, like they say, but showing up in pieces that remind me things will not carry on as they were. I begin to recall events throughout my lifetime where I believed I was coming so close...to a close.
            I thought once that dying would be like breaking my elbow after my bicycle flew out from under my eight-year-old body. Pain shot up my arm, folded under at an unnatural angle. Still alive years later, I swore that death would be like the feeling of my lungs collapsing as my track coach yelled, “Only ten more miles!” I thought death loomed after a fifteen-minute swim in November’s North Atlantic, purple shaking lips and rubber skin. When that wasn’t death, I was sure it would arrive the morning after kicking kegs in the woods as the night transformed into dawn.
            I recognize my mother’s worry that if the beer didn’t kill us, maybe it would have been the eighty-foot jumps into the quarry’s cavernous waters. The lofty shadows of trees drifted over our drunken heads, stars blinking through the branches. Our bodies floated in the cool water. Our sobriety was the only casualty then. The intoxication never shut me down completely, not even when my eyes shook to a close, opening again four hours later to the sun pouring rays at me as generously as I had let the alcohol flow down my throat. Head pounding, thinking in broken thoughts. Yes, finally, this had to be it. Really dying.
            Now I know that these times were only attempts at escape, the way my mother closes her eyes but the world remains around her, the way people are unable to fully detach from the hurt and vulnerability which tie us hand-in-hand to life. We persevere, countless moments of pain leading us to this final moment of release.
            Twenty-five years gone by, but it’s my time.
            “Mom, I’m okay! I’m right here!” My voice stifles as if I’m talking into layers of sheets that I can’t lift.
            My mother’s chin rises. She pulls her cell phone from her pocket.
            Thousands of miles away, my sister looks out her window at the snow-covered scenery. The streets are caked in thick ice. She’s clutching the phone to her face, her eyes red and puffy as she dabs them with tissue.
            The hospital staff urged my friends to go and rest hours ago. I see them asleep on the couches, the silent glow of the television lighting up the living room.
            “I know you can’t hear me now, but I will find a way. There is a way,” I tell them.
            It’s only a matter of time before the days align. My path has led me here, the wind pressing against my face, the motorcycle’s engine roaring beneath me. The earth and the ocean smear together at seventy miles per hour. Paths of everyone on Earth diverging, and intersecting.
            I watch my mother collapse into the chair beside my dad, his arm cradling her descent. The doctor stands above them. All at once, I feel the delicate hand of my grandmother, its warmth transferring through my body like a comet grazing the sky with a sudden, hot glow. She’s been waiting for me.
            My mother’s face contorts. She tosses her face into her hands, head shaking back and forth.
            “My story isn’t over, Mom,” I say. “The beginnings and the endings aren’t real. I promise, I will tell you the true story—our story.”
            As I speak, the scene closes in around me, forming a tunnel of astounding radiance. Shards of illumination multiply without hurting my eyes.
            Today I am dying, yet I feel more alive now than ever before as the world around me fades to light.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Book Spotlight: His Rebel Heart by Amber Leigh Williams



Title: His Rebel Heart
Author: Amber Leigh Williams
Publisher: Harlequin (Superromance)
Pages: 380
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Being a single mother and successful florist is tough, especially when your new next-door neighbor is the man who shattered your heart. Eight years ago, bad boy James Bracken walked away from Adrian Carlton…and their unborn child. Now he's back. And Adrian's desire to protect her son from the truth of his biological father isn't enough to hide the wild blue eyes of father and son, or to keep Adrian from surrendering to the raw passion between her and James. But is he truly the changed man he claims to be? Maybe this time his rebel heart really is home to stay.

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Book Excerpt:

“I need you to go.”
“I can’t—”
“We’ll be fine,” Adrian told him firmly. “I just need some peace and quiet so I can—”
“I can’t leave you alone,” James told her. “Either of you. Not now that I know what you’ve been through.”
“We’ll be fine,” she said again. “I’ll keep Kyle’s BB gun close.” She paused, wrestling over the next words. “And…and you can come by tomorrow morning. For breakfast, if you want.”
James looked at her, his eyes skimming between hers, then over her cheeks, the line of her jaw. “I don’t want you to be alone,” he murmured.
She sighed. “James, I have been alone, for a really long time.” You made sure of that, she added silently. When you left me. The resentment and anger that were usually brought to life by the words didn’t stir. Tired. God, she was so tired.
Adrian, I’m so sorry,” he said again. When he drew her into his arms, she was helpless to stop him. She had nothing left to fight him with so she closed her eyes as the chest she had fantasized about burrowing herself against moments before rose up to meet her. She felt his lips come to rest on the top of her head. His arms wrapped around her back, closing her in, tightening.
He held her, simply held her, for what seemed like ages. Long enough for the tension to drain from her body. Long enough for her to lean into the hard, strong line of him without scruples, to breathe in the work shirt permeated with the sweet scent of grass and the slight tinge of motor oil. At some point, her arms rose to his waist, folding around to the small of his back to complete the embrace.
A small eternity passed in the space of moments. A hundred unspoken words. Memories stirred, whispering to life, ghosts of what had been.
He moved first, just enough to move one hand up to the nape of her neck. He made a noise in the back of his throat, drawing her attention upward. When his lips touched hers, it felt so natural for her mouth to receive the firm, yielding line of his.
Minutes before, she’d felt drained. Fatigued. The simple press of his lips brought her back to life. Her heart fluttered, lifting and soaring in a way she hadn’t felt since…well, since being with James.
She should have pushed him away. After everything, she should shove him back, make him leave. Instead, she let the moment stretch, slide, deepen until she felt him brush up against the soul she’d buried from everything and everyone.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Excerpt from RHIDAUNA, by Paul E. Horsman

The night before his Coming-of-Age, Ghyll and his two friends escape their castle on a clandestine boar hunt that will forever change their lives. The hunt proves a disaster, and with one of them badly wounded, they return just in time to see their island castle destroyed by macabre warriors from a dragon boat, and by flocks of fire-breathing birds. Ghyll’s eighteenth birthday turns into a nightmare as they flee into the night.
Now begins an epic journey to find out who is trying to kill them – and most importantly, why?
Fortunately, they can count on the help of new friends, including a sometimes overly enthusiastic fire mage, an inexperienced paladin and a young beastmistress who is also a ferocious mountain lioness. It soon becomes clear that not one but several sorcerers want to kill them. Are those blackrobes really followers of a terrible, long-forgotten organization?
PURCHASE
The Author
Paul’s  Website / Twitter Facebook Goodreads 
Paul E. Horsman (1952) is a Dutch and International Fantasy Author. Born in the sleepy garden village of Bussum, The Netherlands, he now lives in Roosendaal, a town on the Dutch-Belgian border.
He has been a soldier, a salesman, a scoutmaster and from 1995 till his school closed in 2012 a teacher of Dutch as a Second Language and Integration to refugees from all over the globe.
Being unemployed and economically overage, yet still some years away from retirement, he is a full-time writer of epic light fantasy adventures. His books are both published in the Netherlands, and internationally.

EXCERPT FROM: RHIDAUNA – CHAPTER 10: SOUTHERN LEUDRA

Olle sat concealed in the shadow of the willow tree, motionless. The stars cast a faint light over the sleeping field and it was quiet, very quiet. His thoughts went to his foster brother, and that murderous creep. Vasthul and the Dar’khamorth – what had Ghyll to do with them?
Some movement caught his eye and he saw a shape creeping towards the tent. A second and third followed. He recognized their jerky movements. Golems! Noiselessly he rose and raised his huge sword. Then he took a deep breath and hurled himself at the three shadows.
‘Ayooo!’
The golems’ reaction was slow enough for Olle to hit one of them full on the forehead. As he turned to the second golem, he saw Ghyll coming from the tent, sword in hand, with Damion close behind. The third golem lashed out at Ghyll, who parried the blow, stumbled and cried out, grabbing his wounded side. The golem raised its weapon for the kill, but at that moment, Damion sprang into action. He jumped the mademan from behind and clung to his back with one arm around its neck, while with the other hand he rammed his poniard into the golem’s forehead. Then he leaped away.
Ghyll tried to avoid the toppling golem, but his leg buckled and he fell. With a roar of despair, Olle turned toward his own opponent and split its head in two all the way to the shoulder blades. As he was about to run to his foster brother, a warning shout stopped him. From their tent, a fireball sizzled into the night. A blinding flash lit up the area, followed by a scream and the clip-clop of a running horse. From the brook rose the deafening croaks of a thousand frogs, protesting the disruption of their sleep.
‘Missed him, damn it!’ Bo’s voice shouted from the renewed darkness.
Olle, blinded, was for a moment disoriented. ‘Ghyll!’
‘It’s... all... right.’ His foster brother’s voice sounded full of pain. ‘I made a wrong move, that’s all.’
Olle resisted an impulse to run to his side and forced himself to inspect the fallen enemies first. After he had ascertained that all three were down for good, he strode back to the tents. ‘How is it?’
Uwella looked up at him. ‘It’s not so bad; his muscles aren’t up to these capers yet. He must be careful of that leg.’
His foster brother said something Olle didn’t hear, but Uwella shook her head.
‘Go back to bed. I’ll give you something for the pain and tomorrow morning we’ll see how it goes.’
Olle turned. ‘Was it... Vasthul?’
‘No idea.’ Bo ran both hands through his long hair. ‘I just saw a shadow in a cloak.’
‘Oh, yes, that was Vasthul all right.’ Damion came back from the direction of the road. ‘I heard him swearing and shouting as he fled. He had the same voice as that guy I chased in Theridaun – a voice like a file, and he wasn’t sparing with it.’
‘I could go after him,’ Uwella said, scowling.
Olle shook his head.
‘Too dangerous.’ He stooped and picked up something. ‘Here,’ he said to Damion. In his hand glistened a white crystal. ‘Keep it, you’ve earned it yourself,’ he said. ‘Idiot!’ He gave his friend a comradely punch in the shoulder and walked away. Moments later, he returned with two golems by the ankles. ‘Does anyone want to see them?’
‘Not me,’ Ghyll said, from inside the tent. ‘Only the crystals, please.’
‘I got two for you. Away with the muddies, then.’ With a casual heave, Olle dumped the makemen one after another into the stream, where they sank, gurgling, to the audible annoyance of the frogs.

‘That’s the end of the show, noble lords and ladies,’ he said as he sat down again under the willow tree. ‘Try to sleep; it’s an early day tomorrow.’ The others went back to bed, but the sounds of their twisting and turning betrayed that further sleep avoided them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Book Spotlight: New Pony Day! by Jen K. Blom



Title: New Pony Day!
Author: Jen K. Blom
Publisher: Jen K. Blom
Pages: 28
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Today’s the day Josie gets her new pony – if she can find him, that is! Her cat Pasta’s along for the ride, too, but there’s no telling if he’ll help or not – he’s a cat!

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Book Excerpt:

My name is Josie and I'm happy as I can be.

My kitty Pasta and I have a job just our size, you see.

Today’s the day I choose my pony.

All mine. Only for me me ME!

I’ll know him when I see him!

I KNOW I will. Only…